BY NICOLA MAYE GOLDBERG
I took great care so that you would not be the one who found me. Not that it wasn’t tempting. Though, if I could have arranged it, I really would have liked to die in your arms. That was my first choice.
I know what it sounds like, but it’s true: you broke the spine of my life. You used to hand me scraps of kindness, and I would gnaw on them for days.
What was it like?
Like cleaning the house, every corner of it, with expensive chemicals, washing the curtains and carpets, putting out white flowers by the windowsill, and then lighting a match.
Afterwards, you told people that at least it was over quickly, and that I didn’t suffer, which is sort of funny, considering the circumstances. But you’re right that it was quick. I anticipated the last second rush of panic and regret, which is why I took so many pills. Even if your brain wants to die, your body doesn’t. That’s its whole job. So I expected the panic.
What surprised me was the tenderness, like my skin had been peeled off and replaced by something softer. Inside my chest, my heart flickered and bloomed. Even if I could speak to you now, I couldn’t explain it.
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Nicola Maye Goldberg is the author of Other Women (Sad Spell Press, 2016) and The Doll Factory (Dancing Girl Press, 2017). She is currently pursuing an MFA in Fiction at Columbia University.